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NEWS STORIES

Wisconsin Public Service to pay $80,000 fineSubmitted: 08/30/2013
Story By Lex Gray


ROTHSCHILD - Wisconsin Public Service will pay $80,000 in air pollution fines.

WPS has the potential to release a lot of pollutants into the air. Companies like that have to have an air pollution control permit from the DNR.

A judge ruled WPS violated the permit for its Rothschild coal fired power plants.

WPS reported to the DNR it released more carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide than the permit allows.

Randy Oswald is an environmental programs manager for WPS. He says the violations happened back in 2008 and 2009, when the company was firing up Weston Coal Power Plant 4.

"It was a brand-new plant with a lot of new systems," Oswald said. "As we were shaking down and getting systems started and tested and operational, there were a few events that were related to getting the systems operating correctly that we exceeded that limits in our permit."

Another violation was related to not understanding permit requirements, but Oswald says the company knows its their responsibility to understand the permit.

"We value our compliance record. The last of these events happened well over three years ago, maybe four years ago," he said. "We haven't had any violations of that permit, even though it's very extensive, since then. Our position is we want to be in compliance, we know it's our obligation to be in compliance with everything in our permit."

WPS's Rothschild plant hasn't had an air pollution violation since 2009.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

WAUSAU - A crash in Wausau left one man injured after his motorcycle collided with a van Friday night.

The Wausau Police Department got a call about a southbound crash around 9:00pm on Grand Avenue near Ruder Street.

A motorcycle was in the left lane and a van in the right. The 48-year-old Schofield woman driving the van said she didn't see the motorcycle in her blind spot. She hit the 43-year-old Schofield man on the motorcycle, who landed on the sidewalk. 

The man was not wearing a helmet. He was taken to Aspirus Hospital in Wausau.

The woman got two citations, one for not having insurance on the van and another for unsafe lane deviation.

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS - A cracked lime kiln has caused a fire that damaged the Verso paper mill in Wisconsin Rapids.

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RHINELANDER - A plea deal may be close for one of the suspects in an Oneida County murder.

33 year old Latoya Wolf faces a charge of being a party to a murder in Rhinelander. The murder happened in 2003.

The Tomahawk woman is the niece of Kenneth Wells, the man who was killed. Police found Wells dead in the Wisconsin River in 2003.

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ANTIGO - Low temperatures this time of year can cause problems for some farmers. One Northwoods strawberry farm had to close down for a few hours earlier this week because the berries aren't ripening as fast as normal.

"The cold days this week made the berries ripen much slower than normal," says Andy Merry, owner of Merry's Berries.

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NORTHWOODS - Many people travel to the Northwoods for the fourth of July. 

That means there can be a lot of extra traffic.

Wisconsin State Patrol makes sure it's ready for the holiday.

It has more people staffed on busy holiday weekends.

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NORTHWOODS - As people start getting ready for the 4th of July, many will camp here in the Northwoods.

The DNR expects almost 3,000 people to camp in the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest this weekend.

The DNR thinks this will be their best 4th of July yet, with almost all of the campgrounds full.
People say there's nothing better than camping in the Northwoods.

"We like to come up to the Northwoods because it's beautiful and the water's crystal clear," said Prairie Farm resident Peter Fetting. "The other campers are always really friendly, and I've been coming up here for 30 years. This is my 30th year coming up here to camp."

People already got a head start heading out to beaches and on the water Friday. Campers say more people should come enjoy the woods this summer.

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Police prepare for 4th of JulySubmitted: 07/03/2015

MINOCQUA - You can find tourists all over the Northwoods already for the holiday weekend.

That means area police departments are busy making sure everyone stays safe.

The Minocqua Police Department has all of their officers working extended hours on July 4th, but the police chief says they worry more about safety than law enforcement.

"[The] 4th of July is more family-oriented," says Minocqua Chief of Police Dave Jaeger. "You have a lot of families down there with their children, so we're down there to make sure that it's a safe environment."

Places like Minocqua will be packed with people this weekend, so police just want to make sure holiday events go on safely.

"We mainly focus on, during the parade, we do the re-route, and we have officers on the parade route in case there's any type of issues or accidents that may occur, that we have to respond to," says Jaeger.

The Minocqua Police Department also works with the chamber of commerce and public works to make sure everything goes smoothly.

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